Case studies of family relationships of motor impaired children

Year: 1994

Author: Sprinkle, Judy, Hammond, John

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Motor impairment influences the psycho-social outcomes for children. The effects of lowered perceptions of physical competence, heightened anxiety towards participation in physical activity, being the last one chosen for teams, and exclusion in the playground, all have social implications affecting feelings of global self-worth. Although this self-appraisal may not occur until the child begins school, each child arrives with an image of themselves and their relative competence in athletic, social and academic domains.

From birth to age 5, children have been given a picture of themselves by the people they spend the most time with, i.e., their family. This paper will discuss the possible influences of family relationships on motor impaired children. In exploring the relationships of parents and siblings to the motor impaired child, through case study analysis, the paper will address a number of issues. Firstly, from a parent's perspective, has the motor impairment influenced and affected their relationship with the child? Secondly, are there common features in the relationships of families with motor impaired children? Thirdly, does the behaviour and attitude of parents and siblings to the motor impaired child have any impact on the self-concept and/or self-esteem of the motor impaired child?

These case studies will add to the growing body of knowledge concerning psycho-social aspects of motor impaired children.